Letters to the Scattered Brotherhood ~ Intro & Background

June 13, 2014

Edited by Mary Strong; published 1948

If therefore ye are intent upon wisdom, a lamp will not be wanting and a shephard will not fail, and a fountain will not dry up

I personally voted this book to be one of the “best books ever published” ( my link to my book review for Amazon). Its been a constant companion in my life as a Judeo-Christian contemplative over the last 33 years.

The book is an anthology of letters written between 1934 to 1948 by spiritual leaders of the Anglican Church (in the United Kingdom). These essays address the practical, daily experience of theological students and others struggling with the question of how to live a godly life that is socially ethically while nurturing one’s own soul.

In my opinion, the word “brotherhood” in this case is a non-gendered concept similar to ‘siblings’. As such, it naturally includes both genders as sisters and brothers in the family of humankind and equal in the eyes of our Creator.

The letters were first published in an Anglican weekly religious magazine called “The Churchman”. After the war was over (1948) Mary Strong took this treasure trove of Judeo-Christian wisdom, edited the sequence of them to provide an orderliness of topics, and published them in a book entitled the “Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood”.

As identified by these authors, such spiritual gifts allow us to “face the future with an open heart” and find “the still, eternal, joyful spirit of a tender and loving G*d”, while also being a source of compassion and hope to humanity and healing to those who despair.

The majority of these communications were penned during the years of WWII, when enemy planes were bombings London and surrounding countryside nearly every night. At this point in the war, it looked very much like Hitler and other powers of the Axis nations would win the war and dominate the world with unspeakable brutality.

When the authors of these letters used the expression “these iron times”, they were referring these grim, often gruesome facts and calling for a courageous life of faith even in these, the worst of times. In spite of that, the Letters tell a story of

The extreme nature of daily life provided everyone with a dozens of opportunities per hours to feel depressed or defeated, and thousands of excuses for not loving our neighbor as ourselves or other of the other basic    reasons

Today we are all too prone to think of our inner life of emotions and moods as molded by our surroundings. We attribute emotions, moods and perspective on life ,

Of the 104 letters in the LSB, I’ve posted a couple several that can be read on this site, hoping of course that you will order the book, which sells on Amazon for about %5 bucks.

LSB book review for Amazon